The moment you open up an online store – you are not necessarily guaranteed of landslide sales. Online store is comparatively easier to set up than a physical shop, but it doesn’t mean that your online shopping cart will become ‘Wal-mart’ or ‘Zazzle’ overnight! To be a successful online retail business owner, you need to have a plan in place and follow certain golden rules of ecommerce. The golden rules or the top ten ways (whatever you call these) for online retail store success in described here:
Plan your strategic direction
You should be clear about the products you sell, the target audience, their ability to buy, the competitive edge (whether someone else is selling that product and if yes, at what cost and with any added facilities or not).
Easy user interface
Your online store should be easily navigable. From the home to the ‘thank you’ page (the page that a shopper will get once he completes a purchase) everything should be optimized properly and have uniform display. All offers, discounts, terms etc. should be clearly mentioned in your store.
To run a successful online retail store, you will have to build trust. The best way of building trust is by giving your customers a sense of security. Your customers should feel that they are buying from an authentic source who will respect his/her privacy.
Offer all widely accepted payment methods
The payment gateway you use in your store should readily process payments from your customers. Avoid those gateways with limited credit/debit card processing facilities.
Robust technology platform
Your online shopping cart solution should be built on a robust technology platform such Microsoft .NET. A .NET-shopping cart can give the necessary interface to attain a truly scalable shopping cart solution that will withstand sudden sales-rush during those seasonal shopping sprees.
Have transparent policies
The terms and conditions, return policies, out-of-stock policies, shipping time etc. are very important for all shoppers visiting your store. Keep these policies clearly defined and strictly adhere to your policies in every transaction.
Maintaining personalization is the key to success through any shopping cart solution. Your customers should know the type of products you are selling IMMEDIATELY on reaching your online shopping cart. Your products should be specific to your customers’ demography.
Incentives and discounts
Online shoppers often look for best deals and bargains – so, give them freebies and discounts! Most importantly, while giving discounts or freebies, make loud and clear on your online shopping cart.
Manage your customers
Encourage your customers to suggest changes and when you implement a suggestion – let the customer know. In addition, run polls, run communities and discuss about various beneficial aspects of your products. Be an expert in your line of business and solve customers’ issues.
Maintain a solid customer support
Good customer support is the key to sustained growth of an online retail store. Display your contact details clearly on your store and answer your customers’ queries as quickly as you can.